Now that Landscapes is out there, I’ve been feeling like getting some music out that’s been collecting dust. Here’s a b-side from Soft Fall called “Be Everywhere”.
“Landscapes” is an album of instrumental music composed for a documentary film by Chad Fahs, titled “Landscapes with a Corpse”, about Japanese photographer Izima Kaoru and his photo series of the same name.
I started working with Chad Fahs late in 2012. Sun Airway was on tour and a friend introduced us via email. I hadn’t heard of Izima Kaoru but as I started looking at his work I understood why our mutual friend thought we’d be a good fit. Though the artwork by NAM that was commissioned for Soft Fall was less a meditation on death, it had a striking similarity to Kaoru’s “Corpse” series. Fantasy in reality, weightlessness, mystery and surreality were present in all of these works and resonated pretty strongly with the ideas I had been exploring in Soft Fall. Music has also always been very visual for me and I’ve always wanted to create music specifically for a film.
The project was pretty open-ended from the start. Chad sent me a few brief clips from the film and we discussed the overall vibe the music should help to create. I sent a few early ideas over to him and we bounced them back and forth a few times until we had a couple pieces that could work as the foundation. I then just started building these compositions with that in mind. Where we landed was somewhere in the realm of bizarre sample-based, post-classical, occasionally-vaguely-Eastern ambient music. We left out any real percussion as the film called for more widescreen instrumentals that could bend and fluctuate without a concrete rhythmic structure. There are a few pieces that were composed to correspond to specific moments in the film but most of this was created more generally and used in the film as needed and where was most appropriate.
“Landscapes” as an album was strung together to be more of a complete experience in itself. I really do think of it as a Sun Airway album more than just a film soundtrack. There are a few pieces here that I’m more proud of than anything else I’ve ever done. It’s mood music. It’s not the kind of record you can throw on at a BBQ. I don’t mean that in a pretentious way, just that the music is extremely slowly-paced and meditative. It doesn’t lend itself to internet skimming and listening through computer speakers. It would be great for a long drive where you really want to zone out and take in the scenery.
I’m extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to work on this and create work to accompany a great film and Kaoru’s compelling photography. The next music you hear from me will probably be more in line with what you’d expect. But for now I hope you’ll give this a chance in the right frame of mind and I hope you enjoy it and get lost in it as much as I did.
All the love,
For more information on the film or to watch a trailer, visit www.landscapeswithacorpse.com
Click here to stream or buy the album on bandcamp
Click here to stream the album on soundcloud
this is available now!
rip phil. recorded with an iphone and ukelele.
Hey all. Check out another mixtape I made over at SPIN.
SATURDAY NIGHT. I’m playing a solo set opening for the very excellent Nightlands. They’re celebrating the release of Oak Island, out this week on Secretly Canadian (label cousins!) which you should pick up immediately. They also put on a GREAT show. I will be doing my best at playing the guitar doing some (one-time-only?) versions of Sun Airway jams and some covers. Also playing is Scott Churchman from Ape School. This is an early one…it starts at 7:30pm at Kung-Fu Necktie. See you there.
Here’s a remix I did a while back for Seattle’s Beat Connection.